Commerce City man, 25, dies from H1N1; state toll up to 6
Denver Post, The
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Author: Lynn Bartels and Howard Pankratz The Denver Post
The last time Nikki Rosenbrock saw her brother alive, he opened the screen door a sliver to accept a grilled-cheese sandwich and some Tylenol.
Cody Shane Brackelsberg had been sick all week and didn't want his family getting ill, so he wasn't letting anyone in his Commerce City house. He reported he was getting better.
The next day, Sept. 27, the 25-year-old sports fan and accountant was dead from what turned out to be the H1N1 swine flu.
Brackelsberg's death brings to six the number of fatal H1N1 cases in Colorado, said Mark Salley, spokesman for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
Adams County Coroner James Hibbard said Monday that Brackelsberg had been treated for an upper-respiratory illness but did not complain of any flulike symptoms. He had a history of sinus problems, and his doctor treated him based on that medical history.
Brackelsberg's family said he became ill Sept. 20 and went to the doctor two days later.
"He was adamant about not getting us sick. My mom kept taking him food and medicine and leaving it on the doorstep," Rosenbrock said.
She insisted on seeing her brother Sept. 26, and he came to the door. He said his fever had broken.
The next evening, after Brackelsberg hadn't answered his phone all day, his parents went to his house and found him dead. He appears to have died sometime after 7 a.m. because his bulldog, Apollo, had received his morning medicine.
His mother, Pam, said her 6-foot-2, 260-pound son hadn't missed a day of work in nearly three years.
"We are devastated," she said. "We had a memorial service for him on Saturday, and there were well over 400 people there. I have 10 inches of sympathy cards."
Her son, a graduate of Brighton High School and Colorado State University, loved sports. When he wasn't playing them, he was watching them.
"He would watch soccer on the Spanish channel if that was the only sporting event on TV," his mother said.
Salley said the disease is widespread in Colorado, meaning that neighbors, friends, co-
workers and classmates are as likely to spread the disease as people traveling from areas that originally had high concentrations of the illness.
The number of Coloradans hospitalized with the virus has been increasing each week, topping 80 the last week of September.
Penrose-St. Francis Health Services announced visitor restrictions Monday to stop the spread of swine flu at its Colorado Springs hospitals. No sick people or children 12 and younger are allowed to visit patients, and adult visitors are limited to four per room.